Work done to tackle teen pregnancy and help young mums

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - YOURTELEGRAPH - By Stephen Briggs stephen.briggs@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk Twit­ter: @PTstephenB

The num­ber of teenage preg­nan­cies in Peter­bor­ough has al­most halved in the past 18 years - but the city still has one of the high­est rates in the coun­try.

In 1998, when the Of­fice for Na­tional Sta­tis­tics first started com­pil­ing con­cep­tion data by lo­cal author­ity, the pregnancy rate for young women aged be­tween 15 and 17 was 57.7 per 1,000 .

By 2016, the year cov­ered by the lat­est sta­tis­tics, that fig­ure had dropped to 29.8. How­ever, that still means Peter­bor­ough has one of the high­est con­cep­tion rates in Eng­land and Wales, for girls under 18.

A num­ber of ini­tia­tives have been tried in Peter­bor­ough over the years to re­duce the rate fur­ther - and more is still be­ing done.

A coun­cil spokesper­son said: “The re­duc­tion in teenage preg­nan­cies in Peter­bor­ough since 1998 is thanks to a com­pre­hen­sive, multi-agency, co­or­di­nated ap­proach that still con­tin­ues to­day, with work car­ried out in schools and col­leges, health care, youth and social care ser­vices to ad­dress these.

“We do still see ar­eas of the city in which teenage pregnancy rates are high. The newly formed Cam­bridgeshire and Peter­bor­ough Sex­ual Health De­liv­ery Board will build on the suc­cess­ful re­sults we have al­ready achieved by tar­get­ing en­hanced part­ner­ship working in these spe­cific ar­eas.

“This will be achieved by com­par­ing the lo­ca­tion of ser­vices with the rates of teenage pregnancy, iden­ti­fy­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to bet­ter align ser­vices and en­sur­ing that there is good ac­cess to con­tra­cep­tion ser­vices.”

While work is be­ing car­ried out to re­duce the rate, there is also work be­ing car­ried out with young par­ents.

Kirstie Lynn runs the Fam­ily Nurse Part­ner­ship, which works with first time mums and dads from be­fore birth to when the child is two years old. Clients are rec­om­mended to join the scheme by their mid­wives.

Kirstie said: “There is a stigma to teenage pregnancy, but young mums and dads can face the same is­sues as a first time mum in her 30s.

“We have a very in­tense re­la­tion­ship with them - we visit them more than 60 times in two and a half years. It is all about help­ing them be the best par­ents they can be, and help them look to the fu­ture - ei­ther in ed­u­ca­tion, or em­ploy­ment.”

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